At ease and out of the arena, former President George Bush offered graduating students at the Johns Hopkins University relatively nonpartisan words of advice yesterday -- a life of success must include service to others.
With a clipped, haikulike delivery, Bush exhorted Hopkins seniors: "Don't give up a chance to take a risk. Follow a vision. Hug a child. Touch a life."
America's "neighbor-helping-neighbor spirit makes this country the kindest, and the gentlest, and the strongest country in the world," Bush said, reprising one of the slogans from his successful 1988 presidential campaign.
The former president gently poked fun at himself by noting his current unemployment and subtly praised his own record by stressing the collapse of the Soviet Union, which occurred largely during his term as president.
Sadako Ogata, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, used her keynote commencement address to all degree recipients, to plead for continued American involvement in humanitarian issues -- particularly for foreigners fleeing oppression. "Resist the temptation to close your eyes and ears, and to concentrate on immediate domestic concerns," she said in prepared remarks. "The choice is not between a cold closing of the door or an open house."
At the universitywide morning ceremony, trustees conferred 1,085 bachelor's degrees, 2,995 master's degrees and 477 medical and doctoral degrees.
Daniel Nathans, a Nobel Prize-winning molecular biologist who will step down Aug. 1 after a yearlong term as interim university president, received an honorary doctorate along with Morris W. Offit, former trustee chairman.
Honorary degrees also were bestowed on Ogata; Hopkins alumnus Norman Hackerman, president emeritus of Rice University; Sister Kathleen Feeley, former president of the College of Notre Dame; and the sociologist William Julius Wilson, who will leave the University of Chicago this summer for Harvard University.
Several other area commencements were held yesterday.
At the institute's Friedberg Concert Hall, jazz trumpeter and composer Wynton Marsalis delivered the commencement address. The music school, part of the Johns Hopkins University, granted 67 bachelor's degrees, 90 master's degrees, and 22 doctoral degrees. Marsalis received the George Peabody Award for outstanding contributions for music in America. At 35, he is the youngest recipient of the award.
Baltimore Hebrew University
The Northwest Baltimore school conferred one associate's degree, two bachelor's degrees, and 16 master's degrees at a ceremony on campus last night.
The commencement speaker was Gerald B. Bubis, a longtime scholar of Judaism. The school gave an honorary degree to Shoshana S. Cardin, a champion of Jewish philanthropy.
Towson State University
The campus awarded 1,662 bachelor's degrees and 264 master's degrees yesterday.
In an address to liberal arts and science seniors, state Sen. Barbara A. Hoffman, a Baltimore Democrat, called on women to assume leadership positions. "At first I resisted the invitation to enter the political arena, but in the middle of a quiet night, a little voice in my head said, 'Who better?' And I listened."
Hoffman received an honorary doctorate of humane letters, as did Donald P. Hutchinson, president of the Greater Baltimore Committee; R. Michael Gill, founder and president of Americom Inc., a cellular phone company; and James P. O'Conor, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of O'Conor, Piper & Flynn, the real estate company.
At the Baltimore Arena, University of Maryland Baltimore County officials awarded more than 1,600 bachelor's degrees, 336 master's degrees and 63 doctoral degrees during an evening ceremony.
Among those receiving a bachelor's degree was Swetanshu Chaudhari, a senior from Silver Spring. Actually, he received two bachelor's degrees -- one in biochemistry and another in chemistry. He also claimed a master's degree in biology -- all in four years.
U.S. Sen. Bob Kerrey, a Nebraska Democrat and one-time presidential aspirant, was to speak.
Pub Date: 5/23/96